Far from being a statistic, Wendy Armor became one of the more than 65 million people in the U. S. who annually provide care to a family member.
Health care needs and circumstances changed suddenly when Wendy’s mother, who cares for her husband, required open heart surgery. “Due to my dad’s short-term memory impairment, he can’t be left alone. My mother has been totally dedicated to his care, but now I knew she would have to concentrate on herself.”
Just six days after a successful surgery, her mom was ready for Artman’s short term rehab facility. “When we arrived, mom was greeted by two wonderful staff. They were so kind and gentle, making the transfer to her room and admission so easy. I felt that they really wanted to get to know her, and they soon discovered my moms’ love of grilled cheese and mashed potatoes.”
During her mother’s hospital stay, there was an unexpected development with her father. “My dad had developed some health problems and was also hospitalized. Now, he too was ready for discharge.”
Artman’s short term respite stay program was the next step for Wendy’s dad. This Personal Care program meets a number of needs: it provides care when the caregiver is not available, or can help individuals who have been in the hospital or short term rehabilitation in their transition to home.
Wendy remembers, “When I learned that both of my parents would be at Artman, could visit each other during the day and have meals together, I thought I had won the lottery! My parents were reunited after a 2-week separation in Artman’s beautiful Atrium during Friday afternoon “Happy Hour.” It’s just what they both needed.”
“While mom was in rehabilitation, my dad enjoyed activities. My dad is a dog lover and was very happy to hear that Dave Stiklaitis, Therapeutic Recreation staff, had his dog Lilly with him. This was a sure way to get Dad engaged in conversation and see a smile on his face.”
“My brothers and I knew that our parents were in a compassionate and safe environment and that the physical aspect of healing was progressing, but more important to us was the emotional and social healing we observed. After they completed their therapy programs, my dad would spend the remainder of time with my mom in her room. They were both relaxed and contented; sharing stories, meals and watching the Phillies until bedtime.”
When it was time for mom and dad to be discharged just two weeks later, Artman staff and Dana O’Donnell, Director of Liberty at Home arranged to have Liberty at Home Health Care provide the services they needed at home. “The transition was seamless. I got a call the very next day and mom began receiving regularly scheduled physical therapy sessions and nursing visits. The staff members coordinated their visits at convenient times for my parents. That was one last piece I didn’t have to arrange and my parents didn’t have to leave the house to access it.”
“Liberty Lutheran’s Senior Services offered our family peace of mind. From the time of admission through health services at home each step of this very complicated situation was handled with care, dignity and professionalism.”